(Prayer: Writ Petition filed under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, to issue a writ of Mandamus, after holding that the action of the respondent in not rectifying the pay anomaly and stepping up pay of the petitioner on par with his Junior Mr.Manahoran, conductor, staff.No.5494 with effect from 01.11.2008 is illegal and unconstitutional, direct the respondent to rectify the pay anomaly and to step up his pay on par with Mr.Manoharan with effect from 01.11.2008 with arrears and all other consequential benefits, together with interest for the belated payment and also award costs.)
1. The instant writ petition has been filed by the petitioner seeking for a writ of Mandamus to rectify the pay anomaly and step up his pay on par with his junior Mr.Manahoran, conductor, Staff No.5494 with effect from 01.11.2008 and direct the respondent to pay the arrears and all other consequential benefits together with interest for the belated payment and also award costs.
2. The learned counsel for the petitioner submits that the petitioner was appointed as a conductor in the respondent transport corporation and he joined duty on 14.02.1987. He was made permanent and brought to the time scale of pay from 01.11.1987. The petitioner is now working at Madurai Branch of the respondent corporation. He would further submit that the service conditions of the employees including their wages are determined by settlements under section 12(3) of Industrial Disputes Act, 1947. According to him, the settlement is made once in three years. When new settlement was arrived at, new scales of pay are introduced for various categories of employees and the pay of employees will be re-fixed in the appropriate new/revised scales as per the new settlement. He further submits that there was a scheme of time bound promotions called Longevity Pay Scheme to the employees employed in the State-owned transport corporation including the respondent corporation. As per the said scheme, the employees are being given time bound promotions such as Senior Grade, Selection Grade and Special Grade in their respective posts after 6 years, 14 years and 24 years of their services respectively with higher scales of pay for each grade.
3. According to the petitioner, he was given first promotion as a Senior conductor and thereafter, he was given second promotion as Selection Grade Conductor after 8 years of his service as Senior Conductor. The learned counsel for the petitioner further submits that the above said benefits of promotions are being given to the employees after review of their services, after the above said periods. The employee who is given promotion will get 5% increase in his basic pay of the existing grade and his basic pay will be fitted and fixed at the appropriate stage in the scale fixed for a particular grade. It is also called review benefits.
4. According to the petitioner, while revising the pay scales as per the wage settlements and as per the scheme of promotion as stated above, pay anomalies may arise between the employees, sometimes resulting in junior employees getting more pay than his seniors. In such circumstances, the senior employees, who are given lesser pay than junior would get prejudiced and also would be put to financial loss. According to the petitioner, the senior employee who is given review/time bound promotion, increments etc as per the scales of pay fixed in the earlier settlement but before a new settlement is arrived at would get less increase/less amount, whereas the persons junior to the former and getting review/promotion or increment etc., after the new settlement would get more increase/more amount and this would result in, pay anomalies and this lead to situation where juniors would get more pay than seniors.
5. The learned counsel for the petitioner further submits that in order to rectify such pay anomalies, a clause will be invariably made in all wage settlements. The settlement dated 25.09.1986 also provides for rectification of pay anomaly and to step up the pay of seniors on par with the immediate juniors. The respondent is also a party to the said settlement.
6. The learned counsel for the petitioner would further submit that an employee by name M.Manoharan was working as conductor in the respondent transport corporation who was appointed on 02.05.1987 and the date of permanency was 01.01.1988. He is junior to the petitioner in service. But he was receiving more wages than the petitioner with effect from 01.11.2008. After coming to know of the pay anomaly between the petitioner and M.Manoharan, the petitioner requested the respondent to rectify the same as per the above said settlement. However, the respondent did not accept the request of the petitioner. Thereafter, the petitioner decided to know the reason for the respondent for not accepting his request. Therefore, the petitioner sent a petition dated 17.08.2009 under the Right to Information Act, seeking details as to the wages being paid to the petitioner and M.Manoharan and the reason for the pay anomaly between them and the reason for not rectifying the same.
7. The learned counsel for the petitioner further submits that the respondent sent a reply dated 06.09.2009 to the petitioner furnishing the details sought by him wherein the respondent has admitted that M.Manoharan is junior to the petitioner and he has been paid wages at the rate of Rs.10,135/- as basic pay from 01.08.2009, whereas the petitioner was paid only Rs.10,015/- as basic pay, even though, the petitioner was senior to M.Manoharan.
8. The learned counsel for the petitioner also drew the attention of this Court to the reply dated 06.09.2009 given by the respondent under the Right to Information Act and submitted that it is clear that the wages of M.Manoharan who is junior to the petitioner was Rs.10,135/- whereas the petitioner who is senior to him was paid Rs.10,015/- .
9. Per contra, learned counsel for the respondent fairly submitted that in paragraphs 6 to 12 of the counter affidavit, the respondent admits that there is pay anomaly between the petitioner and M.Monoharan which has to be rectified by them. The learned counsel submitted that due to financial constraints, the respondent was not able to rectify the pay anomalies of its employees.
10. This Court, after perusing the materials available on record and after hearing the submissions of both the counsel is of the considered view that the relief sought for in this writ petition has to be granted in favour of the petitioner.
11. At this
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juncture, the learned counsel for the petitioner submits that the petitioner is also entitled for interest for the delayed payment for which the learned counsel for the respondent raised an objection. 12. This Court is not inclined to grant interest for the delayed payment since it is disputed by respondent.13. In the result, this Court directs the respondent to rectify the pay anomaly of the petitioner and step up his pay on par with Mr.M.Manoharan, Conductor, Staff No.5494 with effect from 01.11.2008 with arrears and all other consequential benefits without interest within a period of four months from the date of receipt of a copy of this order. No costs. Consequently, M.P.(MD)No.1 of 2010 is closed.